Protect online privacy

Protect online security

What are the most significant measures you can take to fairly protect your privacy on the internet? what are the first steps you would recommend to someone you are trying to educate about online privacy should take? In this blog, we have explored some of the primary ways to protect online privacy.

These steps can be taken by any rookie user, all the recommendations are simply infosec community tested, reliable and proven tools that will help you begin with your privacy journey. All the steps set out here are precise and practical with straight-to-the-point suggestions, you don’t have to learn anything new just get them and use them daily.

1. DuckDuckGo

The most dangerous data exposure happens in search and browsing your search history. It reveals your travel plans, medical status, financial situation, or pretty much anything that’s on your mind. Google is known to study this information, profile it, and then release these profiles to data brokers and advertisers who capitalize on your vulnerability.

The easiest way to start protecting your search records is to switch to duckduckgo. It doesn’t log what websites you go to from your search results, it has a mobile browser available for iPhone and Android.

Change your default search engine to duckduckgo and use google only when you don’t get relevant results on the duck.

2. Tor Browser

Tor browser the second most valuable privacy asset is your browser history everybody spying on your browsing. your internet service provider, your browser, the websites you visit, and even those you don’t visit. The highest powerful way of securing your browsing records is to kill all of these threads with one shot.

This browser erases your fingerprint, hides your traffic from your ISP, and changes your IP address in such a way it can be traced back to your true location by websites you visit. Tor browser uses duckduckgo as a default search engine and stores no browser history.

You can have your traffic fully encrypted by visiting onion websites like duckduckgo onion service, making your traffic completely off the grid.

Using Tor you mustn’t break certain rules:

Do not change any tor browser settings, Install plugins or addons, the only settings you can change are security level settings or request a bridge.

Do not log into any social media accounts through TOR unless they were created completely anonymously.

3. Signal Private Messenger

Your third-biggest privacy asset is stored in your online conversations most of these aren’t intended encrypted and even those that are, exploding the hell out of the metadata of your combos to monetize it for advertisers. You need to secure your communications with end-to-end encryption as well as protect your metadata.

The easy solution is with Signal Private Messenger. The signal is often touted by security experts as the gold standard of secure messaging and it’s just as easy to use as any other messenger out there, there is absolutely no learning curve to signal.

just install it on Android or iPhone add your contacts and enjoy the freedom of truly private conversations. The only metadata signal that can currently reveal if the law enforcement asks for it, is the date and time you registered your account and the last time you logged in.

The signal doesn’t store your contacts, messages, attachments, or device information it even automatically erases all the metadata from the images you send and you can use its features to blur faces or draw over images to conceal information before you hit send. The signal is end to end encrypted by default this means that there is no fallback to plain text like with other encrypted messengers.

Blur Image feature

The signal doesn’t have access to your encryption keys, they can’t unlock or read your messages even if they were ordered to, and with its ease of use, there is no excuse not to use it.

4. Encrypted Email

Most providers on the market like Gmail or Yahoo open up your inbox to advertisers and other third parties. The solution is to use end-to-end encrypted email as much as possible but even if that’s not possible, you want to choose an email provider that has no access to your inbox and doesn’t monetize your email data.

Use Protonmail or Tutanota as both of these are incredibly secure, free, and open-source available on all platforms, and hosted in more privacy-friendly European nations even better is to have multiple emails accounts or email aliases, and for dedicated tasks use different addresses for each one: banking, social media accounts, online purchasing, personal email communications.

5. Privacy Settings

You need to go through the privacy settings of every app and account you sign up for and opt out of any data sharing or marketing consent. You’d be surprised how much you’re exposed simply by having these settings toggled in the wrong way most of this is unnecessary and opting out won’t affect your user experience go through your google account, web and app activity settings, apple id privacy settings, location service, Facebook privacy, and security settings make sure to do this on all your devices apps and accounts.

6. Avoid using unwanted apps

Take a minimalist approach to your app setup, chances are you have plenty of apps on your phone that are just sitting there collecting your data without even opening the app for weeks. The more apps you install the more exposed you are to data leaks and security risks, delete all unnecessary obsolete, or redundant apps from your phone and try to do more with less. Even if you delete social media apps a lot of proprietary apps are still using Facebook trackers inside their apps so Facebook can still collect your information limit these Apps to an absolute minimum. Use only trusted and secure apps. Avoid using third-party apps because most of those are made for data collection in exchange for some cheap services.

7. Secure and Open Source Software

Preserving your Digital Privacy and Freedom is a never-ending journey, slowly but surely you are gonna replace your current proprietary apps with free and open-source software. The market for fast apps is growing so fast that there is a privacy-respecting alternative to almost anything.

Use NextCloud to replace Google Drive, Bitwarden to manage your passwords, Libre Office has all the necessary tools for official works, and try Fdroid for the best marketplace for free and open source apps on android.

Use AlternativeTo to find the next best Secure, Free, and open-source alternatives of any software or mobile application.

The next best thing you would know is that you will be running Linux on your laptop and GrapheneOS on your phone. Privacy is a process, the goal is to have the freedom to express yourself without the public judgment or fear of authoritative overreach. Welcome to the privacy community, full of ordinary people who simply value free thought, intimacy, and meaningful exchange of information.

I hope you learned something new today and if you did share it with others and comment your thoughts or questions. Adios

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Nawed Anjum

He has well skills in cybersecurity, digital security, and online security awareness.